EU Imposes Consumer-Friendly Pricing on Carriers

Price remains one the barriers to mobile Internet adoption. Still only a minority of users have data plans that permit unlimited mobile Internet access. In the US carrier competition is the thing that might/will drive the cost of data plans down. But in Europe, the European Parliament is imposing more consumer-friendly pricing on the carriers:

The European Parliament Wednesday voted to adopt a new law cutting European roaming prices for text messages and Internet use by more than 60%.

The price cuts will come into effect by July 1.

From the beginning of the summer the price of sending text messages will have to fall to 11 eurocents from 28 eurocents. Meanwhile, the new rules dictate that the cost of surfing the Internet or downloading movies with a mobile device while abroad will be capped on the wholesale level at EUR1 for each megabyte downloaded, compared with an average wholesale price of EUR1.68 a megabyte currently. The data caps will continue until the price reaches 50 cents by July 2011.

Parliament also voted to extend price cuts on making roaming voice calls, limiting them to 35 eurocents a minute by July 2011 from 46 eurocents. Receiving voice calls when abroad will be cut to 11 eurocents by 2011 from 22 eurocents.

These moves should promote greater mobile Internet usage in the affected EU countries.